Are books dead or is it all vanity press nowadays?


As mentioned previously, I’m a compulsive writer.

By that, I mean, I love writing. I love sharing my thoughts.

Like so many others, I’ve got a lot of personal experiences and ideas to get out there.

Blogging is a wonderful way to do this, and I find this a much better venue than a message group or website.

I like it because it’s so easy to do, that even someone like me can do it with a little work.

And while I doubt this blog will ever amount to anything that makes a difference to this world, it’s still something that allows me to get my thoughts out there.

Every now and then, I get the urge to write a novel or a nonfiction book.  Most aren’t worth publishing, and can only be given away (such as the Empath Guidebook) but once in a long while, I’ll create something that I think might be worth trying to publish.

When that happens, I’ll look into how to do it, but I’ve found that it’s easier said than done.

There’s a lot of information out there on how to get books published. Lots of advice.  Many suggestions and links.

But really, it appears to boil down to being in the right place at the right time if you are successful or not.  I believe that you have to jump through a lot of hoops in order to show if you’re serious or not. (and rightly so, as there are an abundance of authors out there who want to be the next JK Rowlings.)

Going it alone is not something that’s easily done.

In order to even be looked at, you really need an agent to represent you. Few publishing houses will accept unsolicited manuscripts nowadays, and even if they did, there are literally thousands of people trying to get their own works published that you are completing against.

Your work doesn’t have to be actually all that good, judging by some of the works that passes for literature, but it does have to be compelling on some level.

If you can’t get an agent, you can also self-publish, or use a vanity house, but your audience is likely to be very limited, no matter how good your work is as the material needs to be promoted.

Traditionally, it used to be that a publishing house would pick up your work and pay you. Now it’s the other way around.  Not only do you pay them, but they expect you to have your own means of self-promotion and a list of people you can promote your book to.

Ironically, if you had those things, you’d probably wouldn’t need them in the first place.  If you had a large following, people would be likely to buy your product because they already enjoy what you produce.

But do books really sell nowadays? Many bookstores are closing because of lack of demand. Are we trying to publish in a world that longer has any interest in such things?

Be interested in others opinions.

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12 thoughts on “Are books dead or is it all vanity press nowadays?

  1. Pingback: Vanity Presses in Sheep’s Clothing | Writing Is Hard Work

  2. For the longest time I refused to buy into e-readers. Then my books were breaking all of my shelves! I researched and found one I liked. Now I love it. But my shelves are still breaking. There’s just something about words on paper isn’t there?

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  3. You touched on a topic that is so very dear to my heart and it saddens me. I absolutely refuse to buy into or contribute to this new e-reader/e-books craze. I think writers and readers are only hurting themselves by encouraging it. Seems silly to me… but money and business wins. I will only purchase an invisible book if it is something I really need and can only get through that option. I love reading and taking pride in my physical shelved books… and maybe when I die I’ll have them donated to a museum so people will see what it was like. I’ll be sad when I’m forced to change with the times. Yup. I’m one of those people. Technology and all things new aren’t always better.

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    • I do love books. There’s something about picking up a new one. Having said that, they are the most annoying things to lug around when moving house.

      e-books are certainly a good way to go for people with limited space, or who simply can’t get hold of certain books, but I hope there will always be room for the paper version.

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  4. Interesting post and comments! I just self-published for the first time and am now in the process of trying to find the key. I may never find it, but it gives me a goal to press on to and I like that better than watching TV. In other words, finding the formula is my daily entertainment!

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  5. Perhaps a transition away from hardcovers and papersbacks. Books, the words themselves, seem to be going as strong as ever if not stronger. Just as you mentioned, it is easier than ever to publish your own book (promotion and sales aside…). I see this as a shift in direction, but also a progression. See how many popular books of today started as e-books from self publishers for example. And how many books sold through reputable publishing houses go unnoticed every year?

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    • Yes. Definitely good points.

      There is certainly so much more to occupy our attention nowadays. Less time for reading. I used to read all the time now I can barely find time to read an essay.

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  6. technology sadly is become very big in this world and will continue to do so. Books will eventually become a mute point because their are not enough people arguing on books behalf when everyone is glued to their computers or tv’s. Literature however will continue to be but it will be in e-readers like ipad nook and kindle.

    it is an ongoing power struggle that humanity has with technology and nature. It is what J.R.R. Tolkien writes in the Lord of the Rings as in technology destroys Gods good Earth in pursuit of power and control. As when the Orcs destroy the forest with their tools and the tree people say that they are peaceful creatures who do not want to get into a fight.
    it will take much destruction of nature before humanity can learn the balance and how Nature is just as nuturing in the balance then not.

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